Perth Wildcats import Vic Law will be allowed to play in Sunday’s match against Tasmania JackJumpers at RAC Arena despite being cited by the NBL’s Game Review Panel for headbutting Brisbane’s Deng Deng on Friday night.
Tensions were already building during the third quarter when Law pushed his head into Deng’s face. The Bullets’ delayed reaction and decision to throw himself to the ground drew the ire of the crowd and commentators, but Law has been asked to explain his actions to the league before they make a ruling on whether a charge will be laid.
Law will be allowed to play against Tasmania given the lack of time to process the documentation, leaving the December 28 game against Adelaide as the match he would serve a punishment if the league proceeds with any case.
The Wildcats have already lost Todd Blanchfield for the clash against the JackJumpers after he injured his left knee against Brisbane and finished the night on crutches.
Mitch Norton (knee) and Matt Hodgson (calf) are already sidelined but captain Jesse Wagstaff has done a brilliant job filling the breach His 19 points against the Bullets was his highest tally since February 2018.
Coach Scott Morrison said the 35-year-old’s experience, skill and knowledge had been crucial.
“He’s been great on the stats sheet and off it,” Morrison said.
“One of the things I knew when I took this job was I going to have a nice little core of guys who have won before and know what it takes to win, who are great leaders and who will make my job that much easier to focus on the X’s and O’s and trying to learn the league.
“What maybe I didn’t expect as much, even though I’m not surprised by it, is his contribution on the court has been second to none. He’s always leading the team in plus-minus and that’s not a fluke. He rebounds for us, he passes the ball, stretches the floor with his shooting.
“I didn’t know he was known for driving close-outs and getting to the rim but we’ve seen that a few times as well. Overall, he’s keeping defences honest by doing that.”
The JackJumpers have a host of familiar faces for Wildcats fans with Head Coach Scott Roth and his assistant Jacob Chance previously working under Trevor Gleeson, while Clint Steindl, Will Magnay and Jarrad Bairstow all played for Perth last season.